International trade in fruits and other agricultural products from British Columbia will become easier in 2017 when the Canada – European Union: Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement
(CETA) is anticipated to come into effect. That’s why the province’s strong participation at Berlin’s Fruit Logistica tradeshow in February was a strategic move for British Columbia fruit and vegetable growers who want to gain a share of the European marketplace.
Fruit Logistica 2016 marked the first time British Columbia had its own regional presence at the event. Six B.C. organizations co-exhibited in the B.C. and Canada Pavilion, supported by the Province of British Columbia’s Ministry of International Trade. Funding for this project had been provided by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The B.C. presence and delegation was led by the Ministry of International Trade’s European Trade & Investment Representative.
As the only province with a physical presence at the Canadian pavilion, British Columbia’s representatives were able to feature the quality and diversity of British Columbia products. Taking advantage of the attention and the prominent exhibit area were six fruit-growing organizations:
Other British Columbia suppliers and companies, which predominately came from members of the associations such as the BC Cherry Association and BC Blueberry Council, also participated with their own exhibit areas.
The Trade & Investment Representative in Europe also connected with members of the media attending the show, ensuring that British Columbia was featured in the February edition of Eurofruit magazine, Fruitnet.com, and Freshplaza.com. The B.C. attendees were busy throughout the tradeshow, with numerous introductions and business meetings taking place, and initial reports indicate that six British Columbia companies have already made deals worth several million dollars.
The 75,000 people attending the Berlin show represent a key market throughout Europe for British Columbia produce, with significant potential as CETA reduces barriers to trade between Europe and Canada. The European region is also a gateway to the Middle East, which has a large market for imported fruits and vegetables.
On-going business contacts and coordination with Canadian trade staff in Europe will build on the initial attention, especially if growers’ associations take part in the 2017 Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin. Other events, such as Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong, will also provide opportunities to strengthen British Columbia’s reputation as a supplier of high quality and safe produce.
Food growers, harvesters, and producers in British Columbia’s agrifood
sector have successfully established a market for traditional and innovative food products in North America, while rapidly increasing exports to growing markets in China and South Korea. British Columbia assists export-ready small businesses attract buyers and investors through its network of trade and investment representatives (TIRs) in Europe, Asia and the United States. The TIR team works alongside the British Columbia-based trade and investment team
to make introductions and identify opportunities with potential investors, buyers and other in-market partners.
If you are looking to partner with British Columbia businesses or to expand your British Columbia business internationally, the Ministry of International Trade
can help you connect with trade experts, local contacts, and potential clients through a range of networks and services